Several countries in Asia will get treated to a special ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse this weekend as the moon passes in front of the sun.
Known as a ‘total annular eclipse’, it will appear as a blinding ring of light in the sky on June 21. It occurs as the sun, moon and Earth align but while the moon is at the furthest point in its orbit of Earth.
Unlike a full solar eclipse which blots out the sun, an annular eclipse leaves the ring of fire effect as the moon passes in front of the sun.
According to Nasa, the countries that’ll get the best view of the eclipse are located in central Africa, the Arabian Penninsula and a narrow stretch of Asia.
‘The path of this rare solstice “ring of fire” eclipse is long—it spans across two continents, Africa and Asia, and 14 countries—but it is also very narrow. At its widest, in West Africa, the path is only about 85 km (53 mi) wide. Here, annularity lasts for about 1 minute and 20 seconds,’ explained the team at TimeAndDate.com.
‘At the location of Greatest Eclipse, in Uttrakhand, India, near the border of China and Nepal, the magnitude of the eclipse is 0.996 and the width of the path is about 21 kms (13 mi). Annularity here lasts for around 38 seconds.’
Which is a shame for us in the UK, because a ring of fire eclipse would certainly be a sight to witness.